Well kids, its time for our first tour update. Jamie came to Hawaii for a few days before we started this run so that we could work out the live set and figure out the best way to realize this music with all of our new toys. I’d like to say we jumped right into the studio, but seeing as it was @ 80 degrees and sunny outside, the beach seemed like a higher priority.
We went down to Manini Beach which is is about 8 minutes down the hill from the house, and jumped in the ocean. After a bit of swimming, and doing our best to not come home with a nasty case of reef rash, we sat down under a tree and found our first official tour mascot. We were greeted by an ass (donkey that is), with literally the largest ass ever on an animal. Truly makes you understand why they are called asses. In fact, this ass was so big, it was truly unbelievable. So big, we just have to show you….
This ass had serious ka-dunk-a-dunk. And a personality to boot. After meandering idly as if without a purpose munching grass and saying hello to everyone on the beach, this ass made a serious move, stuck it’s noggin in someone’s picnic basket, and proceeded to complete dismantle a bag full of rice cakes.
Wow, that ass had some serious balls! Way to go donkey master. And that folks is how you become an official tour mascot. We had a couple of fun days, Jello, Jamie, Joan and I. Made some furiously hot chocolate-habanero sauce and some fresh guacamole from ripe local avocados. It was Jamie’s first time in Hawaii, and Jello had only been on island for a scant few days so decided that music was going to have to wait a little bit while we did a bit of exploring. Found lots of fun things to do including eating fresh macadamia nuts right off the trees and drinking some fresh brewed kona coffee, and then buckled down and started getting to business putting together our live set. We’ve always worked long distance so it was a new experience to actually be sitting in the same room at the same time with sounds coming out of the same speakers.
Thanks to a super awesome sauce endorsement deal from Moog, we have a Voyager analog synth and a bunch of Mooger Fooger pedals to play with. It took us a bit to get all the cables wired and plugged in correctly, most due to the fact that we’re both super geeks who have gotten a little too comfortable in the VST realm.
Despite the long set up time, we got everything plugged in and ready to go. There is nothing like a little bit of time pressure to bring out the best. We seemed to lock into a groove relatively quickly, and were able to work it all out. It’s pretty amazing to have new toys to play with, especially analog toys. A few glasses of wine, lots of knob turning, and stupid silly grins from ear to ear. Really incredible to step out of the realm of “laptop musician”, and work with discrete analog circuits that have a mind of their own and definite slabs of personality. The new gear has added something special to the mix, and we’re both excited about the new frequencies and elements coming into play in the live rig. Thanks MOOG!!!!
One last night of sleep in yummy warm Hawaii, then off to start the madness. A long round of flights, and we arrived in Denver. Seriously people, it is not warm in Denver right now. Evan conveniently forgot that not everyone on the planet wears shorts and flip flops in winter, so made a quick decision that a purchase of warm clothes was going to be a serious necessity.
Off to Ft. Collins for the first show of the tour, working with Dan Topolski and Music For Change, which is always a pleasure. Set up was quick and painless, solo sets went off, and the first live set went off without a hitch. Awesome. Check the video below. There is always a moment of panic that the preparation was in vain, and something horribly wrong is about to smack you upside the head. All in all, Ft. Collins was smooth and uneventful (except for the eventful event that is), except for our slapstick episode driving up and down the street forgetting the address _every time_ while trying to look for a health food store. Tour is hard on the body, and eating the right food can make it sustainable, or a disaster. So far we’re doing good. No late night Waffle Houses, or swimming in bottomless bowls of macaroni and cheese (oh comfort food, why art thou so mean to my digestion?)
It was a quick jaunt back down to Denver for another unforgettable night at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom. The place has had such a glorious facelift over the past few years and has become a true pleasure of a place to play. A quick familial reunion with Deana, Jay, and Sharon left us feeling the love, if not a bit pooped from the travel.
Sleep beckoned, to which we softly surrendered at the Curtis Hotel in Denver, and then it was off to Steamboat Springs the next morning. Jamie is smart like that, and took the time to check out the weather report, where it became obvious that there was _serious_ snow happening on the up to town. We had tried to save money by getting an economy car (which is basically shorthand for super crappy shitty no good tin can on wobbly wheels car). No way the economy car was going to make it all the way up there and back. Back to the airport, long drawn out process to upgrade to something with some beef (stupid rental car company policies), and then finally off. Ready to get out of town and get there fast, but oh wait, the highway is only moving 5 m.p.h. and there is nothing we can do about it!
Yuck. Snail pace along the highway in pretty low visibility for hour after hour. We listened to lots of great music (including the bomb new Meat Beat Manifesto album), though Evan had too much coffee and his bladder started singing. Oh wait, we’re stuck on a highway that’s not moving and people don’t appreciate it when you pee out the window. The snow was beautiful and all, but it started to get old after a few hours in. It is way less boring to be on tour with someone you like, as you actually have someone to take all your frustration out on. No really, we had lots of time to connect and dream up new genres (coming to a theater near you).
So yeah, a few more million hours of that, a brief time displacement Schrodinger loop type thingy, and we finally found a place to pull off so Evan could empty his hidden bits. Thank heavens. We thought about making snow angels, but honestly it was too damn cold, and really… we’re not THAT dorky. Finally made it up to Steamboat Springs, without about an hour before music was supposed to start. Got everything set up super quickly and without hiccup again, and had another nice show. Oh, except for the heckling. Really kids, is this some special Steamboat Springs type of welcome? I mean, it doesn’t really help when multiple people come to the front of the crowd and scream things at us repeatedly. We’re deaf. And dumb. And kind of blind too. At least y’all were smiling, so we figured it was a friendly sort of heckle. Thanks Steamboat Springs, we now officially dub you “Heckle-opolis”. We look forward to being heckled by you again sometime in the near future.
Off to Denver again for a couple of days off. Another ridiculously long trip through the snow, though we saw a caravan of bison, and some truly breathtaking views on the way back since we were driving in the daytime. Listened to lots of ultra minimalist ultra pristine electronic music (we heart you Raster Noton), and some funky Burnt Friedman goodness (10 points for the dog bark solo in your dub track brother man, you are seriously out there).
Had a great dinner out with Sharon Joy and some other great friends and their beautiful children. Many thanks to Sharon, who is putting us up so kindly at her lovely and warm House of Joy Bed & Breakfast, and have really enjoyed talking about our mutual friends and family, discovering the wonders of Hazelnut Milk, and repotting and sharing love with the house plants. Tomorrow we’re doing a music workshop with Wes Panther who was one of the super supportive Kickstarter donaters, and making a big coconut curry butternut squash soup + sides for everyone who makes it over to Sharons. Then off to the airport Wednesday for the next leg of the tour. Stay tuned for the next transmission. We leave you with one final pictorial statement, which somehow is the perfect visual/poetic description of life on the road…